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Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku)





Location: La Paz Department      Map





Description of Tiahuanaco Archaeological Site

Ancient ruins of pre Colombian city of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) are located in La Paz Department in Bolivia.  Tiahuanaco Archaeological Site is situated at an elevation of 12,500 ft. First people came here around 1700 BC. Capital of the ancient Tiwanaku Empire reached apogee of its power between 500 AD and 900 AD. Residents of Tiahuanaco constructed several pyramids, religious temples and other buildings with precision and techniques unseen in other parts of the World. The city grew wealthy due to copper mines found nearby. Additionally peasants used irrigational system that used waters of Titicaca to feed fields around the city. Farms fed the people and herds of domesticated alpacas provided the indigenous tribes with textile.

Akapana Pyramid of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku)

Akapana Pyramid of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku)

Akapana Pyramid or Piramide de Akapana is the largest structure in Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku). It stood at least 15 meters above plateau level. Some of the stones that make its base weight as much as 200 tons. How ancient people managed to construct this magnificent structure is still a mystery. Archaeologists still dig on the site. They managed to discover an underground subterranean temple. Additionally Akapana Pyramid of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) served as a mausoleum. Archaeologists discovered a skeleton of  high chief who was buried with a sacrificial lama as well as gold jewellery, pottery and other artefacts.


Gate of the Sun of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku)

Tiahuanaco Gate of the Sun of Tiwanaku

Gate of the Sun in Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) is one of the most famous monuments in Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) as well as Bolivia. It is located near shores of the lake Titicaca in La Paz. They measure 3 meters high and 4 meters long. Gate of the Sun was constructed from a single piece of stone with carved reliefs. The upper part of door contain a sculpture of a mythical creature that combines features of a human, snake, condor and a cat as a combination of various forces of nature. Additionally there are inscriptions of 48 man- condors that face the central figure and fancy characters. These hieroglyphs were deciphered in 1949. It turned out to be a complex astronomical calendar. Ancient year of residents of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) contained 290 days. The calendar also had 10 months, with eight months that contained 24 days and two months with 25 days.

In the ancient times the Gate of the Sun was covered by gold leafs. Remains of gold stud were discovered still in place. Additionally there is a Gate of the Moon situated nearby.

Pumapunktu or Puma Punku Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku)

Pumapunktu is part of an expansive temple complex in Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku). It has an appearance of a terraced mound that measured 167 meters long and 117 wide. Its most interesting find are carved stones used in its construction. Historians and archaeologist alike can not explain how did ancient residents of Tiahuanaco (Tiwanaku) managed to achieve such precision.




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